Review: Little Sister (DCI Jonah Sheens #4) by Gytha Lodge


Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher:  Random House Trade (June 28, 2022)

From Two girls went into the woods. Only one came back. . . .

Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is on the trail in this explosive crime novel from the acclaimed author of She Lies in WaitWatching from the Dark, and Lie Beside Me

Jonah Sheens is enjoying a moment of peace in a pub garden on his day off when a teenage girl wanders out of the woods. She's striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She's also covered in blood.

When Jonah races to help, the girl insists she's fine. Then she smiles. It's her sister he needs to worry about. Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children's home a week ago. Now Keely is here--but Nina's still missing. Jonah is sure Keely knows where her sister is--but before she tells him anything, she insists, he has to listen to her story from the beginning.

Is she witness, victim, or killer? And if Jonah follows the trail of clues in her story, will they lead him to the missing girl--or distract him until it's too late?


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

To begin with, this is the first of this series that I have read. And while it was obvious I had missed quite a bit in regard to the personal lives of those serving on the police force (especially Jonah and Julliette and the falling out from their respective relationships), I didn't feel like it hindered my enjoyment (or lack thereof) for this one. 

No, my problem with this one was two-fold. 

To begin with, I could not connect with these characters at all. Keely comes across as a stone-cold sociopath throughout most of this story, condescending to the officers assigned to her sister's case, and in no hurry to reveal anything of importance, at least not outright. No, Keely deliberately leaves little clues in her stories that are somewhat hard to find, leading the police on a wild goose chase to find the evidence she has left for them. Added to that there are just so many secondary characters, both in the police force and as potential suspects that it was hard to keep track of just who was who. Also the switch from first name to last didn't help. When you're used to seeing Jonah investigating, the sudden switch to the author calling him Sheens gave me pause as I then had to try and figure out just whom the author was referring to.  

Secondly, there was no sense of urgency to the writing (or story) that I would have expected when there is one character covered in blood, and another missing and presumed injured. This could be in part due to the way that the story is told bouncing between the story Keely is telling of events that have taken place in the past, and the various police officers as they speak to persons of interest, investigate potential leads, and have meetings to try and piece everything together. 

However, I do also see from the majority of the other reviews that I am in the minority with my thoughts on this one, so if you are a fan of this series, I would say go ahead and give this one a try. If this is the author's usual writing style you will no doubt enjoy it more than I did. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
                                                 Little Sister is available on

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